Long before the ability to send GIFs and video messages on smartphones, a 22-year-old sent the first ever text message to a mobile phone
It was 1992 and Neil Papworth had been working at Vodafone as a software engineer when he sent the text message to his director at his office Christmas party.
Sent from his computer, the message simply read, “Merry Christmas”.
Despite sending the first text message, Mr Papworth said he can’t take credit for the technology.
“Text messaging was not my idea or invention, I just happen to be lucky to have sent that first one,” he told Sky News.
“It was limited to 160 characters, but no one had yet invented text speak (txt spk) or emojis, and you could only send those very first texts from a computer to a phone, not the other way round.”
Having seen all that has come after, the 47-year-old believes texting has made the world a better place — even if it has caused some minor dramas.
“Billions of people started using it to exchange quick messages, whereas before they would have had to make a phone call,” he said.
“Of course, it also introduced the danger of them concentrating on their keypad and screen, and not the road or lamppost.”
With more people turning their efforts to messaging on social media apps, Mr Papworth sadly believes text messages are dying a slow death.
“It’s inevitable, really. Texting’s demise has been predicted for at least 10 years, but it took a lot longer than experts thought before usage started dropping,” he said.
“So many people now have data plans and there’s a great deal of choice of online messaging platforms available.”